Martinique Restaurants

Martinique cuisine, a fusion of African and French, is certainly more international and sophisticated than that of its immediate island neighbors. The influx of young chefs, who favor a contemporary and lighter approach, has brought exciting innovations to the table. This haute-nouvelle creole cuisine emphasizes local products,
Martinique cuisine, a fusion of African and French, is certainly more international and sophisticated than that of its immediate island neighbors. The influx of young chefs, who favor a contemporary and lighter approach, has brought exciting innovations to the table. Th
Martinique cuisine, a fusion of African and French, is certainly more international and sophisticated than that of its i

Martinique cuisine, a fusion of African and French, is certainly more international and sophisticated than that of its immediate island neighbors. The influx of young chefs, who favor a contemporary and lighter approach, has brought exciting innovations to the table. This haute-nouvelle creole cuisine emphasizes local products, predominantly starchy tubers such as plantains, white yams, yuca, and island sweet potatoes, as well as vegetables such as breadfruit, christophene (also known as chayote), and taro leaves. Many creole dishes have been Frenchified, transformed into mousselines, terrines, and gratins topped with creamy sauces. And then there's the bountiful harvest of the sea—lambi (conch), langouste (clawless local lobsters), and dozens of species of fish predominate, but you can also find écrevisses (freshwater crayfish, which are as luscious as jumbo prawns).

Some local creole specialties are accras (cod or vegetable fritters), which are the signature appetizer of Martinique, crabes farcis (stuffed land crab), and feroce (avocado stuffed with saltfish and farina). You can perk up fish and any other dish with a hit of hot chien (dog) sauce. Not to worry—it's made from onions, shallots, hot peppers, oil, and vinegar. To cool your jets, have a ’ti punch—four parts white rum and one part sugarcane syrup.

Supermarkets often have snack bars that serve sandwiches, as do the bakeries and larger gas stations such as Esso and Total. Supermarkets, such as Carrefour, have good deli sections and sell French wines for significantly less than at home. Another French chain, Le Baguet Shop, has locations in most tourist areas. Travelers on a budget will find creperies and pizzerias, even an African pizza place in Le François. And there may be times when you just want to drive in to Mickey Ds—however, brace yourself for the price hike.

In Fort-de-France's city market, ladies serve up well-priced creole prix-fixe meals that can include accras, fricassee of octopus and conch, chicken in coconut milk, or grilled whole fish.

As for euro sticker shock, the consolation is that although menu prices may seem steep, they include tax and service. Prix-fixe menus, sometimes with wine, can help keep costs in line.

What to Wear. For dinner, casual resort wear is appropriate. Generally, men wear collared shirts. Women typically wear light cotton sundresses, short or long. At dinnertime, beach attire is too casual for most restaurants. Both the French (expats) ladies and the Martiniquais often "dress." They have an admirable French style, and almost always wear high heels.

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  • 1. Le Plein Soleil Restaurant

    $$$$ | French

    Perennially popular with the chic set, Le Plein Soleil's restaurant has a smashing contemporary, creole look. But it's the inventive, beautifully...Read More

  • 2. Le Zandoli

    $$$$ | French

    Although "le zandoli" is the creole term for the lowly gecko, there's nothing humble about the culinary presentation or the wildly colorful...Read More

  • 3. Atomic Food

    $$$ | French

    Those who loved chef Damien Pelé's restaurant Fleur de Sel are getting a sense of the differences between it and this new spot (named after...Read More

  • 4. Coup d’Coeur

    $ | Bakery

    If perusing the Poterie Village, look no farther for a lunch spot or a tea break. This patisserie–salon de thé is on the right, as you first...Read More

  • 5. La Baraqu' Obama

    $$$ | Seafood

    If you're looking for a seafront restaurant that specialized in conch and lobster, Obama’s is recommended. During lunchtime the alfresco terrace...Read More

  • 6. La Cave à Vins

    $$$ | French

    After you ring the bell, someone will peek out (as in a speakeasy), and the front door of this landmark restaurant will open on a small shop...Read More

  • 7. Le Bélem

    $$$$ | French

    This special-occasion restaurant for the well-heeled offers innovative cuisine served in a contemporary, romantic setting, with a bevy of servers...Read More

  • 8. Le Brédas

    $$$$ | Caribbean

    This culinary experience necessitates a trip into the island's interior, down winding roads where the dense foliage is junglelike. It's best...Read More

  • 9. Le Colibri

    $$$ | Caribbean

    Gregarious Joel Paladino is lovingly continuing a family culinary tradition with this little local spot in the island's northeastern reaches...Read More

  • 10. Le Foyaal Bar & Brasserie

    $$ | French

    This versatile brasserie on Fort-de-France's main drag offers a large open dining space and seating on a covered terrace with a view of the...Read More

  • 11. Le Petibonum

    $$ | Seafood

    This marriage of French island funkiness and South Beach gloss is one-of-a-kind in Martinique. So is charismatic owner Guy Ferdinand, a tall...Read More

  • 12. Le Pitaya

    $$ | French

    This is one hotel restaurant that is not only surprisingly good but affordable. The menu changes nightly, but many items do find their way back...Read More

  • 13. Restaurant La Table de Mamy Nounou

    $$$$ | French

    Although the name may sound like a local eatery, it's actually quite an upscale setting serving cuisine raffinée . Sip an aperitif while listening...Read More

  • 14. Restaurant Le Golf

    $$$ | French

    You may not expect a golf course to house a great restaurant, but once you're at this terraced, alfresco location, you will find yourself wowed...Read More

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